The Pride of Esquimalt float sits waiting to make its way along the Celebration of Lights parade route last year. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

The Pride of Esquimalt float sits waiting to make its way along the Celebration of Lights parade route last year. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

Esquimalt’s Celebration of Lights a night for the community

Free, fun family event brings together people from various walks of life in Esquimalt

To say the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights is a community event is a major understatement.

This kickoff to the Christmas season, which celebrates its 12th year with the parade followed by the public gathering at Esquimalt Plaza this Sunday (Dec. 3), continues to broaden its reach, says committee member and Esquimalt Coun. Meagan Brame.

“It’s free, it’s family friendly, it gets people so in the mood and it’s just such a celebration and a happy event. Everybody loves Christmas lights,” she says.

The Celebration is about more than just flipping the switch and illuminating the town with colourful lights. It’s about bringing together disparate parts of the community for a mutual fun time. “The partnerships that have grown out of Celebration of Lights have been amazing,” Brame says.

Volunteers for this event are enthusiastic and come from all walks of life, she adds, from the Esquimalt High leadership students to the members of the Songhees Nation who last year built a “longboat” for Santa Claus to ride in, with Songhees youth paddling him in to the plaza.

Local recording artist and jazz songstress Maureen Washington and her band are providing the entertainment this year, and will be accompanied for some of the traditional Christmas tunes by students from Rockheights middle school.

Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Rainbow Kitchen on Lyall Street, which provides free meals for people in need.

Merchants are on board big time for the event as well. Country Grocer provides the oranges and candy canes handed out on the night, and helps out the Esquimalt Lions with ingredients for the free hot dogs their volunteers cook up.

The parade and Christmas season kickoff was the vision of legendary Esquimalt resident and community booster Dino Fiorin, who passed away last year.

“[Because of that] it is even closer to our hearts as we go forward,” Brame says.

As a way to extend the atmosphere generated with the Celebration of Lights, the Township plans to produce a Christmas lights map featuring homes and other buildings lit up for the season, Brame says.

“Every year it gets stronger and fingers crossed, it doesn’t rain that night,” she says.

The parade starts at 5 p.m. sharp Dec. 3 from Canteen Road and travels along Esquimalt Road. The event runs until 7 p.m. For more information, visit esquimaltlights.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Christmas

 

A trio of penguins gather for a photo before assembling for the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights parade. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

A trio of penguins gather for a photo before assembling for the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights parade. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

Just Posted

Colin Davidson won $100K on a Set for Life scratch ticket in Sooke. (BCLC photo)
Sooke man does ‘happy dance’ after scratching a $100,000 Set for Life win

Colin Davidson plans to renovate his home and invest in his daughter’s education

West Shore RCMP K9 Halla. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sound of RCMP dog enough to stop suspects in Oak Bay

West Shore RCMP K9 unit called in, didn’t get to chase

Improving safety at Keating Cross Road and the Pat Bay Highway is the goal of the flyover project currently in the works. The province aims to reveal the final cost and design this fall. (Screencap/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Final budget, design of Keating flyover in Central Saanich still in the works

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says information coming by this fall

UVic Department of Anthropology chair and professor, April Nowell, at home with a copy of her new book, Growing Up In the Ice Age. (Courtesy of April Nowell)
New book by University of Victoria professor explores lives of Ice Age children

April Nowell spent two decades researching archaeological evidence of children, teens

Sasha Perron of Langford is preparing to run a half marathon on Saturday, 10 kilometres Sunday, 21.5 km on Tuesday and so on until he’s totalled 216 kilometres. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Indigenous man to run 215 kilometres, plus one for children waiting to be found

Donations to Sasha Perron’s fundraiser to benefit Indian Residential School Survivors Society

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Most Read